by Bob Jacobus
People have dreams, some good and some bad. Knowing how to deal with a bad dream in the proper fashion will bring rest and peace to one’s soul and spirit. Dreams can come from 3 places: Heaven, Hell or from within. A bad dream, a fearful dream, a nightmare can be treated with the same process regardless of its origin. Remember, a bad dream from God is a warning, a bad dream from Satan is an invitation, and a bad dream from within is dangerous because of the human weakness of self-fulfillment. People of faith have been given the wherewithal to make good on a bad dream.
In the early 80’s my sister called me about a really bad dream. She saw the tower of a cable tool oil rig fall and smash the cab of my father’s truck. A little background: dad and my brother were cleaning shallow oil wells in Kentucky about 150 miles southwest of home, and my sister lived in north-central Indiana about 150 miles north of my location. Becky was livid, very scared by this bad dream. I was new in the faith and had just discussed dealing with bad dreams with my Christian mentor. I knew to pray and not much else. We asked God for His mercy. The Blood of Jesus was pleaded over them for protection. Thanks was given to God for bringing them home safely. We also rebuked the devil’s plans and purposes in this situation. The Lord’s peace fell, and my sister was no longer distraught. The next weekend the men were back from Kentucky. A windshield had been body-puttied into a crinkled-up cab. “Ben…what happened?” My brother proceeded to tell of the drill’s derrick falling on the cab; they had just left the truck in time! Indeed, this was a warning from God and His call to pray for an impending danger. Isn’t it awesome; God has a way to get us to pray when a prayer is desperately needed.
Prayer is the foundational response to a bad dream. One can pray for mercy, one can pray the blood of Jesus over the situation, or one can speak in the authority of the believer. Praying appropriate Bible scriptures is also an important option in dealing with a bad dream. Sometimes a bad dream will be an old familiar story. Suppose you have a dream where you are King David and Nathan is coming to call you out on some sort of sin. Maybe you haven’t failed yet but by all means…start praying for mercy! Maybe the bad dream involves a head-on car crash. You are in a Fiat and the other vehicle is a big SUV…plead the Blood of Jesus for safety. Remember the Israelites painted the blood of the lamb on their doors and windows and the destroyer could not enter the home and take the firstborn. A bad dream may consist of an attack by some sort of force or character…use the Authority of the Believer…“I rebuke this foul dream and its purpose in the Name of Jesus!” We have the Blood to deal with sin, the Name to deal with devils and the Cross to deal with ourselves. Make no mistake, a bad dream often is The Lord’s private remedy to correct an ungodly flaw. The dream may be for the dreamer or for another person; prayer is still the first response.
Nearly all the bad dreams in the Bible involved a prophet in interpreting for the dreamer. Joseph did so for Pharaoh and Daniel did so for Nebuchadnezzar. Today, most people do not have the luxury of a reliable prophet, so we must rely on faith, on a God who is faithful and His Spirit who is our consoler.
James 1:5 states, “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Yes, it is a full circle. Asking God for wisdom is a type of prayer and prayer is the foundational response to a bad dream. Listen to that small still voice, somewhere between a whisper and a thought, and weigh it in context of the bad dream. The next step will be granted so that you can make good on that bad dream.